China says that coronavirus may have origins in nine countries, Czechia included

First cases appeared in Czechia in March 2020

editor: REMIX NEWS
author: Echo24, jch

China is still trying to prove that the new type of coronavirus had its origins elsewhere and now considers India to be the most likely source. However, China also mentions the Czech Republic among the nine countries from which the virus might have possibly emerged, the Daily Mail reports.
According to a recent study by Chinese scientists at the Chinese Academy of Sciences, coronavirus probably originated in India. Researchers claim that the virus first appeared in India in the summer of 2019 and that it was transmitted from animals to humans through contaminated water. Allegedly, the virus was only detected for the first time in Wuhan, China.
The researchers say they used so-called phylogenetic analysis to monitor mutations in the virus. Whenever the virus multiplies, it undergoes minor mutation. According to Chinese scientists, the version of the virus that has the least amount of mutations is most likely the first one.
According to them, this method helped to rule out Wuhan as the source of the coronavirus. Instead, China points at nine other countries, the already mentioned India, Italy, the USA, Bangladesh, Australia, Russia, Greece, Serbia, and even the Czech Republic.
The Czech Republic had not recorded the first three COVID-19 cases until March 1, while China reported the first cases as early as the end of 2019. In the United States and Italy, the first cases appeared in January 2020.
However, the credibility of the research has been questioned by many scientists. David Robertson, an expert from the University of Glasgow, said the study was full of errors and provided “nothing to our understanding of SARS-CoV-2”.
“The author’s approach of identifying the ‘least mutated’ virus sequences is… inherently biased,” Robertson told the Daily Mail.
“The authors have also ignored the extensive epidemiological data available that shows clear emergence in China and that the virus spread from there,” he added.
Marc Suchard, an expert from the University of California, then told the South China Morning Post that “picking the viral sequence that appears to have the least number of differences to the others in an arbitrary collection is unlikely to yield the progenitor.”
Title image: Healthcare workers move a COVID-19 patient to the Motol hospital in Prague, Czech Republic, Friday, Nov. 6, 2020. The hospital in Prague has admitted five patients in serious condition from hospitals that were overrun due to the coronavirus pandemic. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)


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